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North Clare

IFA officers resign over Ennistymon mart sale

Officers of the Ennistymon branch of the Irish Farmers’ Association, in an unprecedented move in the county, have resigned their positions. They took the decision to give up their roles in protest over the sale of the local mart to an international retailer and what they see as a lack of support from Clare IFA. The branch committee members took the united action “to highlight our frustration with the IFA on their approach to the sale of Ennistymon Mart”. Ennistymon Mart is run by Clare Marts Ltd, the farmer-owned co-operative, which also runs livestock marts in Ennis, Kilrush, Scariff and Kilfenora. It sold the mart site in Ennistymon to Aldi, subject to planning permission, provoking anger among the farming community in the mart’s catchment areas of Ennistymon, Kilshanny, Doolin, Liscannor, Miltown Malbay, Mullagh and Inagh. The Ennistymon branch of the IFA met last Wednesday and the committee resigned their positions but urged people to retain their association membership. “We feel …

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Youth lauded for work in their communities

Galway Rose Nicola Corcoran presented Pope John Paul II Awards to young people of the Diocese of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora recently. More than 50 young people from across the diocese, including South Galway and parts of North Clare, were acknowledged at the fourth annual Pope John Paul II Awards. The ceremony took place in St Mary’s College in Galway City, where Bishop Martin Drennan and Galway Rose, Nicola Corcoran, presented the participants with their awards for spending the last year as active members of their parishes and communities. The Pope John Paul II Award is dedicated to the late Pope John Paul II, in memory of his love of young people. “For young people, aged between 16 and 18 and living or going to school in participating dioceses, the Pope John Paul II Award enables them to become more actively involved in the life of parishes and communities. The young people who accept the task of doing the award, delve …

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Boston’s Breege knows good business

A North Clare woman was recognised for her business acumen and leadership at the 2014 IMAGE Business Woman of the Year Awards in Dublin this week. Primark’s board director Breege O’Donoghue, from Boston, was presented with the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award. In accepting the award, Ms O’Donoghue (70) recalled her childhood on the Clare-Galway border, her “loving family” and especially her mother, Molly. “My mother had great influence on the family, independent, strong-minded and devoted to her husband and children, for whom she cooked, baked, knitted, made all our clothes and delighted in the joys of gardening and her beautiful flowers,” she said. Ms O’Donoghue described the farm where she grew up as both “idyllic and hard work”. “The trees were tall, the grass was green, the birds were chirping one to the other. There was no extravagance and money was always put aside for the rainy day. Christmas was magical, with all its preparations of making the plum puddings, plucking …

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Online maps to pinpoint broadband locations

Online national and county maps that identify the homes, businesses and schools where commercial providers will deliver high-speed broadband access by the end of 2016, have been published today (Monday). At the launch in Doolin, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Alex White said that the State would invest in all the remaining areas to ensure that every home, school and business in Ireland has access to high-speed broadband, regardless of where it is located. The maps, which allow the public to identify their own premises to see whether their high-speed broadband will be provided by a commercial operator or through State intervention, can be accessed at www.broadband.gov.ie. The website also carries county-by-county statistics on planned broadband coverage. Minister White said, “The delivery of high quality broadband is about ensuring that our citizens in rural Ireland have the same life chances, and the same access to information, culture, ideas, social interaction and opportunity that people in urban areas can enjoy.” …

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Rocco a ‘godsend’ for Stephen

A North Clare special needs child is the first in the county to receive an assistance dog from a new national charity. Karen Murtagh, who lives in Ennistymon, has described the arrival of Rocco, a nine-month-old black Labradoodle as a “godsend” for her son, Stephen (10), who has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Stephen is one of the lucky children who are benefiting from 48 service dogs provided by My Canine Companion, which trains dogs to assist children and young adults living with ASD. It is the only charity that will give an assistance dog to a child over 10 years of age, as other organisations like to pair an animal with a younger child. Each dog costs the charity over €10,000 to train and Karen will have to raise half of this figure over the coming years. Businesses in Lahinch, where she was born on Main Street, are already rallying around this worthy cause. The 19th Bar in Lahinch has …

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Still trying to identify man’s body

RTÉ’s Crimecall programme this week featured a renewed appeal by gardaí in Clare in a bid to discover the identity of a man, whose body was found at the base of the Cliffs of Moher four years ago. Inspector John Ryan from Kilrush said they had received some response to the appeal over the man’s identity, which gardaí in Ennistymon are now following up. Inspector Ryan has asked that anybody who might have any information about the deceased man’s identity or what had occurred towards the end of July 2010 to cause his death, however insignificant they might think it is, to contact Ennistymon Garda Station. The man’s remains were found by Doolin Search and Rescue on July 30, 2010. He was only wearing shoes and socks and was thought to have been in the water for about 10 days. A post-mortem examination showed injuries that were consistent with a fall. Searches and investigation of CCTV footage locally did not …

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RDS beckons for Clare’s young scientists

Students from seven Clare schools will exhibit 22 projects in the 2015 BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition at the RDS, Dublin in January. Leading the way, with 10 entries, is Mary Immaculate Secondary School, Lisdoonvarna, followed by Scoil Mhuire, Ennistymon and Meanscoil na mBráithre, Ennistymon, with three each; St John Bosco Community College, Kildysart and Gaelcholáiste an Chláir, Ennis, with two each, and Rice College, Ennis and Kilrush Community College with one each. Among the Galway schools an interest in the Young Scientist competition are Seamount College in Kinvara, with one project, and Portumna Community College, with three. At the 51st annual event from January 7 to 10, there are over 120 awards to be won, including the prestigious BT Young Scientist & Technologist of the Year. The BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition is organised by BT Ireland, one of the country’s leading communications and networked IT service providers, and is supported by a number of valued partners …

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Noirin Hegarty

Noirín not Lonely in North Clare

Noirín Hegarty may be in the business of world travel as Managing Destination Editor with Lonely Planet but the well-known journalist considers her family’s holiday home in Liscannor her ‘refuge’. Her mother Carmel Vaughan and her father Sean Hegarty hail from the West and North of the county and although reared in Dublin, Noirín spent many happy holidays here as a child visiting her 60 cousins. Not only are her ancestral roots here, it was also in Clare that the seeds of her interest in journalism were planted. “My uncle Martin Vaughan still lives in Miltown Malbay. He was always involved in what was going on in the community. He knew what was happening around and that sparked my initial curiosity for journalism,” she said. “I remember when I was a child and Martin was in the civil defence and he would be out looking for bodies after a bad storm and I thought this was fascinating and that goes …

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